History and Timeline of ‘William Dowler & Sons’ Whistle, Button & Military Ornaments Manufacturers. In 6 Parts.
Continue reading William Dowler & Sons Whistle Manufacturer History and Timeline A. Strauss
This article (Part III a) focuses on the Birmingham Whistles,
Military Ornaments and Button manufacturer William Dowler, later ‘William Dowler & Sons’. It is the continuation of the first article, and an on going research of 15 years, some of the first finds were posted here in 2008 and in the Wikipedia
and in 2015- 2016 a revised article about the family which established their business in 1776.
See Link, William & George Dowler which presented
the family’s history and work.
George Dowler had the bigger manufacturing plant and
manufactured whistles which were advertised but not identified to this day, continuing the family’s plants & manufacturing business up to 1870,
it was ‘Willian Dowler’ who was the bigger Whistle manufacturer, He started working independently in 1853 and took over the family’s assets in 1876.
In fact seeing the whole picture we can say that since 1853 William took an independent path and only in 1876 after legal fights gained control of the other various family plants and assets which George was running up to 1870.
Thus between the years 1853 – 1870 There were two different manufacturers;
one is Dowler – Birmingham, the other W. Dowler -Birmingham.
Georgian Period Whistles, British made whistles in the Pre Victorian times were a theme I was interested in for over a decade, New antique whistles surface here and there and throw light on the development of ‘Professional’ Round whistles, time line and makers, of which little is known about. *
But these certainly give a new perspective to the term IRONMONGERS in the 17th 18th 19th century who were making whistles, and which later became more Brass Founders I believe.
Before I put many of the thoughts, comments & observations on these,
I share some of mine and others, Needless to say all very rare.
Starting with a Trio of Military whistles from my own collection,
most possibly by J. Dixon of Sheffield very early 1800, These include few amazing features for the whistle student and scholars who have a keen eye.
The sound is of each one is outstanding, (I am tempted to say the best I heard ) Interestingly the trio forms the sound of a triad chord,
I will edit and add comments later.(There is a LOT to be said and learn)
After the First Early period 1800 to 1835 and later up to 1865 which was reviewed here with early examples I move forward to look at some more German Nickel or Nickel Silver & Brass whistles, not it in chronological order.
Cracking the general early date code of whistles in the article about Stevens & Sons was a Benchmark, which enabled a clearer view of another giant whistle maker – Dixon & Sons. At the top a whistle which had been made by James Dixon the founder himself. (See next Paragraph).
James Dixon, Dixon & Son, James Dixon & Sons Whistles, A Brief History of Whistles in a Few Parts. Avner Strauss
Under construction, kindly drop in occasionally for updates.
Whistle Model # 55 by Dixon & Sons
Recently I have been digging through layers of “modern archeology”, specifically of whistles in the 19th century. Decade by decade, I have been “peeling” off the layers to reveal earlier dates. Identifying and discovering new whistles and information is a fascinating and rewarding subject for me to engage with. Discovering the first examples of dated escargots, the Bean Police, or Stevens model #27, are just a few examples. Likewise, discovering previously unknown whistle makers and bringing to light new information was a great reward for years of researching. Each discovery leads to new understandings, which, in turn, lead to an ever-increasing interest. I take great pleasure in sharing my thoughts and findings and wish to someday open a real whistle museum as well as publish my research, thus making everything even more accessible.
Dixon & Sons was one of the four large whistle makers in England up to 1880. While T. Yates and Stevens, and W. Dowler, the other three makers, were large, Dixon was, by far, larger. The family’s history and products are well documented and I can turn the attention of readers to one of few books. Here is a link to a PDF of one of them. In what follows, I shall concentrate on whistles and give a short overview of their history.
I started my research after coming across the 1st known TNT whistle stamped by Dixon (2006). I now know there are two of them. After I posted my first bit of research about Dixon on Wikipedia, someone noted that it should be erased as it is doubtful that a company by that name ever existed… Today, there are already hundreds of articles and photos, as well as many other resources. However, the subject of whistles is relatively still little-researched, and therefore I hope this text will contribute to collectors and others interested in whistles.
Here is an old post I wrote about Dixon (it includes mistakes, but since it was archived somewhere else, I cannot revise it): http://archive.is/RuZZb
The article shared here is, hitherto, the most comprehensive essay about the subject of Dixon & Sons whistles. There are, of course, many whistles I know of and did not include, as well as many that are still waiting to be discovered.
The full article is in 9 sub-parts.
Part I (6 chapters)
1) Brief History and data (19th Century)
Part I.a. Round whistles by Dixon & Sons;
2) Early Period Round Whistles and ‘The sheffield Mouthpiece & Fipple’ I. a.,
3) Round Ivory & Horn I.b.
4) Animal Head Whistles, I.c.
5) Round Brass & German Silver Whistles. Signal Whistles and ‘Pig nose’ Whistles
6) Round Britannia Metal Whistles & Model #49. Part I.e.
Part 2 (3 chapters)
More whistles by Dixon & Sons, including
8) Extractors, combination whistles, Shooting Gudgets and other combination whistles. II. .b
9) James Dixon & Sons Other Rare Whistle Models & Designs. II.c.
As a rule, my observation is that many whistles made as DOG CALLS did not use a pea. (A.S*)
A small collection of 41 whistles was given by the Dixon family in 1938 to the city of Sheffield, and was exhibited at the city hall. There are many whistles which Dixon made during the 19th century and are not among these.
The James Dixon & Sons Company was a family-run business for 170 years (up to 1876) and was located at Cornish Place for over 180 years (up to 1992).
James Dixon was the Founder company established 1806.
James Dixon later Dixon & Sons were one of the major British manufacturers in the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. They were well known as manufacturers of pewterware, electroplated Britannia metal, silverware, and electroplated nickel silver. Their product range included hundreds of items for domestic use in the kitchen (inc. bowls, cutting-tools), and the dining room (e.g. tea services, cocktail shakers and mixers), and items like candlesticks for general household use. They were also a world leader in manufacturing shooting accessories through the nineteenth century, and exported powder flasks in large quantities to America. While Dixon & Sons were known for their whistles, all of their products were of outstanding quality. Continue reading James Dixon & Sons Whistles & History In the 19th Century. Avner Strauss
Stevens & Sons Whistles (Part C)
Dating Metal Plates on Stevens Whistles by periods (4 periods)
A Historic Whistle Discovered,
And few important dated ones.
EARLY round whistles Pre Mid. 19th Century made
by or attributed to Stevens & Son
The Numbered Whistles (Whistle Models) & Numbered with Plates
THE ARTICLE IS STILL under construction
Plates found on whistles by Stevens & Son- Sons dating and examination of plates & examples
The common plates can be devided into 4 groups and periods. * and **
Here they are in chronological order:
Continue reading Stevens & Sons Round Whistles & Some Special Ones, Part C. by Avner Strauss
John. M. Westwood * whistle maker b.1856 – d. 1886
His family (James Westwood His Dad) seems to have come from New York with his other brothers, all in the brass foundry business (His brothers in the trade James, Robert, Alexander ) & a relative named Andrews who shows up later as working with him).
John opened his own business in 1872 as Tinsmith and Gas Fitter at 73 Cumberland St. Calton, Glasgow .
Excerpt from 1973 Directory.Westwood made a whistle which later became the model identified with S. Auld whistles.
Continue reading John Westwood The first Glasgow Whistle Maker & Samuel Auld Whistles Breaking News ! A. Strauss
Breaking News !!! A Victorian Three Call Tube Whistle Patent 20, 820 By Burleigh , Discovered app. 1900 Grunted 1901 . A. Strauss
An Intricate desgin including 3 Tube whistles, three different shapes Mouth Pieces, a round one a triangular one and a flat rectangular one.
One of the three tube whistle is a TNT (Two note tube whistle )
The 3 tubes have variations and can fold see Illusrations number III & Num. IV. Certainly was an expensive one to make at he time.
A Reward is expecting the person who find us one of the actual triple whistles !
All rights reserved . A. Strauss 2017
Charles Parker B. 27 Februar 1800 – D. 1852 was a maker of professional whistles in the first half of the 19th Century in Birmingham. He was known as Charles Parker Junior and the son of Charles Parker who was in the same business as Button Maker, Brass Founder and Military Ornament Maker.
His BOT receipt pre 1850 reads;
Bot of CHARLES PARKER
Late Merry Parker & Merry
Manufacturer of Naval and Military Ornaments
Gilt & Plated Buttons
INVENTOR of the IMPROVED LETTER CLIP
AND RAILWAY WHISTLE.
The 3 next Short SNC – short single note conical whistles were a Parker Design
The one on the right side is Parker’s work William Dowler( & Sons) Kept
making these up to later 1890s,
Black & Co. ( David Black ) 81 North Frederick St. Glasgow – 1885 (or 1883) to 1898 , Zin & Tin workers Packing-Case Makers were pioneers of Snail type whistle making and may well have been the first to use the title ‘ Thunderer ‘ for a whistle.
Little was known about the company’s History, a new whistle; the first one stamped with maker’s name found 2017 which proved to be a Key Whistle, triggered me to more research and findings .
Previously many whistles as these, none stamped whistles attributed to Black showed, All 5 piece London type snail ( Escargot ) whistles.
Here is the new one, fully stamped found.
A railway guard whistle stamped D. Black Maker Glasgow, And C & OR for Callander & Oban Railway (a small railway Co. ) on one side, other side shows # 3
In Aug. 2018 a smaller variation 49mm with a stamp using different letter design and top (knop) surfaced on eBay It ended for about 400 USD.
We learn from the Paisley one, 4 pictures below that there is a much smaller model may be two smaller ones. As usual with these type the smaller ones are the rarer, so we know of only one model with that small size.
Another variation, a 3rd known
Black & Co., Ltd.
Address : 81 North Frederick St. Glasgow
1886 Glasgow post office directory.
Mrs. Black was manager of the Black & Co. Making cases, By 1886 they were Continue reading Black & Co. a 19th Century Glasgow Whistle Maker History & Whistles. A. Strauss